Helmet, eye protection, UTV cargo box, two-way radio — to enjoy your ride to the max, you need to invest in high-quality safety equipment. It will keep you warm, protect you from bruises and injuries, and help you experience the brightest emotions. Here is the list of must-have items that you need to purchase before getting behind the wheel of your ATV.
It’s not that you should wear a helmet when riding ATV or a similar means of transport — you must. In most states, this is a requirement of both federal and local legislations. When choosing a helmet, select the one that has “Snell” and “DOT” logos on its back: this confirms that the safety item was approved by national and local authorities and corresponds to the industry standards.
In summer, it’s convenient to wear light open-face models. In winter, you should switch to a full-face one that covers both your face and head. Your direct and peripheral vision should remain unobstructed in case there is an obstacle on your way or another vehicle approaches you. Make sure the helmet fastens securely and fits snugly.
You need to put it on right before or after you fasten the seat belt of your ATV. Don’t take the helmet off unless you reach your final destination or stop on your way to talk to someone. It’s just a matter of politeness: some people don’t feel psychologically comfortable if their interlocutor is wearing a helmet.
2#) Eye Protection
For those who don’t appreciate full-face helmets, goggles are a must. They are safe, practical, and will protect your eyes from diverse airborne projects. Unlike regular sunglasses, they won’t allow dirt, dust, or sweat to get into your eyes. Tinted models will also protect you from sun rays.
The best goggles meet the following criteria:
They bear one of the following markings: z87.1, V-8, or VESC8
Their lenses are hard-coated and made of polycarbonate which makes them scratch-resistant
To prevent fogging, they provide sufficient ventilation
Before purchasing the goggles, try them on together with the helmet and make sure they are a match.
Riding models are different from the ones that you use for hunting, skiing, or other outdoor activities. They don’t just keep your hands warm but also increase your comfort by absorbing vibrations transmitted from the handlebars. To prevent bruising from flying gravel or slapping limbs, riding gloves are padded over the knuckles.
When you take a turn on your ATV, your body weight shifts towards your legs. Buy sturdy ankle-length boots that will protect and support your limbs. Lightweight hiking models will be a smart choice for summer. Hunting boots will provide more traction on the trail thanks to their treaded soles.
5#) Shirt and Pants
Your long pants and a long-sleeved shirt should be lightweight but at the same time tear-resistant. If you are planning to ride in summer, hiking pants would be pretty much enough. When the weather is sunny, you will appreciate a shirt with UPF-label: this abbreviation stands for ultraviolet protection factor and will save you from sunburns.
Using the GPS that you have in your smartphone won’t be a wise idea. First, you might accidentally lose your phone or break it. Second, the coverage of your mobile operator might be spotty.
Instead, purchase a specialized GPS unit for UTV or ATV. Some of them contain preloaded off-trail vehicle maps, with or without topographic views. When you park your vehicle, your gadget will mark its location and help you find your way back after a successful hunt or hike. If you opt for a handheld model, select the one that has mini mounts for rails or handlebars.
7#) Two-Way Radio
If you get lost, or your vehicle breaks down in the middle of nowhere, your smartphone most likely won’t be of any help either. You might be out of coverage, or your device might run out of battery. An old school two-way radio will be much more trustworthy — even if you use it not for emergency cases but just to chat with your friends.
Your gadget should be GMRS-enabled, which stands for General Mobile Radio Service. It is used for short-distance communications and is based on a land-mobile FM UHF radio. The transmitting power of handheld models reaches around 7-8 watts, that of mobile ones — up to 15 watts.
8#) Gear Bag
A gear bag is essential for those who enjoy lengthy rides. It should be capacious enough to carry everything you might need for urgent repairs:
A basic toolkit
A collapsible shovel
A hand saw
Spare parts for your vehicle
A jerrycan with fuel
Anything else you might need
The best cargo boxes are scratch-resistant, dirt-repellent, and lightweight. You should be able to easily detach the box from your vehicle to carry it in a hostel room or other premises if you make a stop on your way. However, you might consider other qualities of the box as your top priorities, depending on how and what for you use your ATV. One of the most popular solutions available on the market is the POLARIS storage box with advanced locking technology and ergonomic handles.
9#) First Aid Kit
No matter how limited your storage space is, a first aid kit is a must — but not a household one. To cure the injuries you might get on the trail, you need to have at hand at least the following:
Bleeding control dressings
The Stop the Bleed Kit by the American Red Cross would be an affordable solution packed with everything you need.
With the help of high-quality safety gear, you will be able to enjoy your ATV ride to the max. Purchasing a damage-resistant gear bag, comfortable footwear, a durable helmet, and other above-mentioned items is a smart investment that everyone should make before getting behind the wheel. Opt for the production of credible brands to make sure the goods will last you a long time and efficiently protect you from any possible threats.